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Chairs & Evaluators Workshop October 4, 2006. The Commission’s Expectations for the Assessment of Student Learning and Institutional Effectiveness. Beth Paul Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Professor of Psychology The College of New Jersey [email protected]

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Chairs & Evaluators Workshop

October 4, 2006

The Commission’s Expectations for the Assessment of Student Learning and Institutional Effectiveness

Beth Paul

Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Professor of Psychology

The College of New Jersey

[email protected]


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Session goals…

  • Understanding and interpreting

    • Standards 7 & 14 of the Characteristics of Excellence

      • Institutional assessment

      • Assessment of student learning

      • MSCHE expectations for documenting compliance with both standards


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Middle States Standards

  • Standard 7: Institutional Assessment

    The institution has developed and implemented an assessment plan and process that evaluates its overall effectiveness in: achieving its mission and goals; implementing planning, resource allocation, and institutional renewal processes; using institutional resources efficiently; providing leadership and governance; providing administrative structures and services; demonstrating institutional integrity; and assuring that institutional processes and resources support appropriate learning and other outcomes for its students and graduates.


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Middle States Standards

Fundamental Elements: Standard 7

  • Written assessment plan

  • Use of assessment results

  • Written strategic plan reflecting assessment data


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Middle States Standards

Standard 14:

Assessment of Student Learning

Assessment of student learning demonstrates that the institution’s students have knowledge, skills, and competencies consistent with institutional goals and that students at graduation have achieved appropriate higher education goals.


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Middle States Standards

Fundamental Elements: Standard 14

  • Articulated expectations of student learning at various levels (institution, program, course)

  • A plan, including specific methods used to validate articulated student learning goals

  • Evidence that student learning assessment information is used (“closing the loop”)

  • Documented use of student learning assessment as part of institutional assessment


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1. Mission & Goals

2. Planning

8. Admissions

3. Resources

9. Student Support Services

4. Leadership/Governance

10. Faculty

5. Administration

11. Educational Offerings

6. Integrity

12. General Education

13. Related Educ. Activities

7. Institutional Assessment

14. Asmt. of Student Learning


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Assessment as a Four-Step Cycle

1. Goals

2. Programs, Services & Initiatives

4. Using Results

3. Assessment/ Evaluation


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Student Learning Assessment as a Four-Step Cycle

1. Learning Goals

4. Using Results

2. Learning Opportunities

3. Assessment


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Institutional Effectiveness: Are We Achieving…

Mission & Goals

Community

Service

Scholarship

Student Learning

Diversity

Productivity/

Efficiency

Access

Revenue

Generation



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1. Good assessments are useful.

  • Periodically evaluate assessments.

  • Adapt as things change.


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2. Good assessments are cost-effective.

  • Keep things simple.

  • Focus on a few (3-6) important goals in each program, unit, curriculum.

  • Stagger assessments.

  • Use samples.


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Not dissertation-quality research

Stay cost-effective.

Goal and tool match

Multiple kinds of tools

Student learning: Include direct evidence

Care in choosing/creating tools

3. Good assessments are reasonably accurate & truthful.


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4. Good assessments are organized, systematized, and sustained.

Institutional

Goals

Program & Unit

Goals

Course

Goals

Goals

Assessments

Improvements


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What Should Institutions Document? sustained.

  • Clear statements of goals

  • Documented, organized, sustained assessment process (“assessment plan”)

    • Principles, guidelines, support

    • What assessments are already underway

    • What assessments are planned, when, & how

  • Assessment results documenting achievement of goals

  • How results have been used for improvement


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Why does MSCHE ask for this? sustained.

  • Help ensure that

    • Everyone at the institution knows what they are to do.

    • Everyone is on the same page (priorities).

    • Resources are available.

    • The institution is indeed achieving its mission & goals.

    • The institution is indeed making appropriate improvements.


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How Might Institutions Document This? sustained.

  • Not a fancy bound document!

  • An overview in the self-study

  • A chart or “roadmap” for assessment documentation in the self-study or as an appendix

  • More thorough information in the on-site “resource room” and/or online

  • A few samples of student work

    • Exemplary, adequate, inadequate


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Questions that sustained.an Evaluation Team or Reviewer Might Ask


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Is there a culture of assessment? sustained.

  • Do institutional leaders understand & value assessment?

  • Is there adequate support for assessment?

  • Are assessment efforts encouraged, recognized, & valued?

  • Are efforts to improve teaching honored & valued?


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Are goals clearly articulated? sustained.

  • Are goals clearly articulated at every level?

    • Institutional, units, programs, courses

  • Do goals have appropriate interrelationships?


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Are sustained.learning goals clearly articulated?

  • Do the undergraduate curriculum & requirements address

    • Institutional learning outcomes?

    • MSCHE’s general education competencies?

  • Are learning outcomes of sufficient rigor?


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Have appropriate assessment processes been sustained.implemented?

  • Are assessments already implemented for an appropriate proportion of goals?

  • Are assessments systematic and sustained?

    • More than anecdotes?

    • Which programs have implemented assessments?

  • Are there multiple assessments?

  • Do student learning assessments include direct evidence of student learning?


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Have appropriate assessment processes been sustained.planned to plug holes?

  • Are timelines appropriate?

  • Do plans have sufficient detail, ownership, simplicity and practicality to be feasible?


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What do assessment results tell us? sustained.

  • Do they provide convincing evidence that the institution is achieving its mission and goals, including key learning goals?


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How have assessment results been sustained.used?

  • Have results been appropriately shared & discussed?

  • Have results led to appropriate decisions?

    • Curricula and pedagogy?

    • Programs and services?

    • Resource allocation?

    • Institutional goals and plans?


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Have assessment processes been sustained.evaluated?

  • Are assessment processes reviewed regularly?

  • Have the reviews led to improvements in

    • Assessment processes?

    • Support for assessment?


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In Summary: sustained.

  • Key elements:

    • Planning

    • Usefulness

    • Involvement

    • Dynamic culture of conceptualization, assessment, and reflection


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